Pop singer sues for £1m over botched lip implant surgery
Pete Burns: said he could not leave his house for months
Disfigured: the damage shows on Burns' lips Look here too
Pop star Pete Burns revealed today he is suing his plastic surgeon for "wrecking his career and life".
Burns, singer with 1980s pop band Dead or Alive, has had several cosmetic procedures on his face and is suing a Harley Street surgeon for an estimated £1million over a botched attempt to remove lip implants.
In an exclusive interview he told the Standard he looked like he had been "mutilated with a Stanley knife" after surgery to correct the original problems left his top lip hanging off.
The singer, who re-surfaced in last year's Celebrity Big Brother, has had more than 100 operations by specialists in Italy to try to correct the damage but fears he will always be disfigured.
Speaking from Italy, where surgeon Giovanni Ferrando is due to operate again on his lips, Burns said: "It has taken away my life and my career. I saw doctors in London who said the only option was to amputate my lips. I was suicidal.
"Eventually I found a doctor in Italy who knew the product and said he could remove it. I had 17 months of procedures and now I am back again having more."
Meanwhile Burns has lost his Notting Hill home and his singing career is in tatters, he said.
In 2000 Burns went to Dr Maurizio Viel at the London Centre for Aesthetic Surgery to have a lip implant removed.
But instead of having the original implant taken out, he was injected with a filler called Evolution and then later with another called Outline.
Despite complications, Dr Viel persisted and injected more of the substance - only for the problems to escalate, causing swelling, blisters, discharge and lumps.
Eventually the singer was left so disfigured he could not eat normally, could only drink through a straw and did not leave his house for months. He said his career would have been at its peak if it were not for the botched surgery, as he was about to record with the Pet Shop Boys and pursue a number of solo projects as well as launch a greatest hits album.
Any settlement could top £1 million and forensic accountants are calculating how much he has missed out on in lost earnings.
His lawyers are claiming the Outline product was administered despite possible reactions.
Burns' solicitor, Auriana Griffiths, said: "Pete has endured considerable pain and suffering following injection of Outline Original. This product should never have been administered to him.
"As a result of the damage caused by the treatment, Pete has been unable to fully pursue his career in music and in the media.
"Today we have issued court proceedings against Dr Viel."
Allegations of negligence against Dr Viel are that he failed to warn adequately of the possible side effects, failed to observe warning signs on the product relating to its use in conjunction with other products and administered an excessive number of follow-up injections, which was contrary to the guidance given on the use of Outline Original.
Burns said: "What happened to me after a series of injections was far worse than any nightmare I could have envisaged. Not only was it agonisingly painful but it was physically repulsive in the extreme. It was impossible to lead any life whatsoever. I was unable to leave my house as I was so distorted with swelling.
"At times it leaves me seriously suicidal and depressed and I could have problems for the rest of my life."
Lawyers for Dr Viel failed to respond.